Strapping

Strapping is one of the many “old fashioned” decorator details that seems to be coming back into fashion lately (see our recent post on bullion fringe, too). The tape detail that designers sometimes use to add embellishment to a piece of upholstered furniture (usually a sofa or club chair) is what is called strapping. Tory Burch’s designer Daniel Romualdez used strapping to great effect in Burch’s NYC living room (below); it gives her solid white sofas that little extra something to add interest and dress the pieces up.
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Romualdez has designed most of Tory’s retail stores as well, and uses strapping on a pair of Jansen-inspired chairs to create a wonderfully graphic look, below. Does this space look familiar?
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Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber also loves to use strapping, below left, as does Sara Gilbane, below right. Strapping looks best on solid colored upholstered pieces, in either a contrasting tape color or a shade darker or lighter than the upholstery fabric. It can be a great way to tie your color scheme together; below left, Bilhuber uses orange strapping to  help make sense of the tangerine colored club chair in the corner.
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Below, another Bilhuber living room, strapping is used on the tufted chair in the bottom right of the image, as well as on the sofa next to it (not pictured).
s3Strapping shouldn’t be an interior-designers-only tool. If you like the look, one way to get it without purchasing a custom sofa is to buy a sofa from a retail store and send it to your local upholsterer to have tape sewn on–much more affordable than commissioning an entire custom sofa! What do you think about strapping? Would you use it in your home?